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RR
29th December 2006, 03:13 PM
Background scores in Tamil Movies - Kaadhal Konden

- Suresh

[html:12316dd927]http://www.lazygeek.net/images/kadhal01.jpg[/html:12316dd927]
After Illayaraja and A.R.Rahman, I have chosen to write on the background score of “Kadhal Konden”. I am not going to write anything generic about Yuvan’s background score abilities like I did for other composers before, because I feel it is too early to arrive at such a summary of opinion on Yuvan’s background scores. I don’t really know if Yuvan’s background score was seriously noticed before Kadhal Konden. I am writing this simply because of the fact that I was able to write this article even without watching “Kadhal Konden” again. I could easily recollect the scenes and the background music pieces. When I listen to the audio, the scenes start to unfold in my mind. Creating such an impact on the audience with the background score is not easy to achieve. Considering the track records of Yuvan’s 'inspirations', I am not sure whether the background score pieces used in this movie are genuine and original compositions of Yuvan but what I think is more important is that they fit with every single frame of the movie to T.

“Kadhal Konden“ is a journey through the life of Vinoth who goes through a weird mix of emotions. It demands such a variety of sound in the background score too. No single theme can bring in all these mixed feelings of a character. Yuvan has gone in for a variety of melodious themes, and it is good that no single theme is based on any of the songs in the movie. And above all, all are catchy. They sound good even as stand alone tracks. But I want to emphasize that music without relevance to the scene and without a demanding visual for the music, mere catchiness in the theme is of no help. But here the pieces are very relevant to the visuals (as I'll explain shortly) and catchy too. Some of them are such that even a layman would hum the background score piece after watching the movie. In his father’s style, Yuvan has gone for a live orchestra with dominant usage of strings section, flute and piano. I think my job is done if I write about all the themes included in the Original soundtrack that was released in Hollywood style much later, after the release of the movie, with additional songs and background score pieces.

Vinoth’s happiness – This theme got released along with the songs - as “Kadhal Konden theme” - even before the release of the movie. I thought Yuvan is going to use the same theme with different orchestration for different emotions in the scenes but fortunately, every single scene or emotion of Vinoth has its own theme and its own development pattern as the movie develops. This theme is such a vibrant and enthusiastic piece with a peppy rhythm and tune, that is perfectly in synch with how Vinoth feels after kidnapping Divya. He dances with so much joy and energy exhibiting his happiness. And I need not mention the usage of this theme in the climax. It is one of the movie’s highlights. It perfectly suits that situation because; even at that moment Vinoth is happy as he thinks that he can kill Aadi and live happily with Divya. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20happiness.wma)

Vinoth’s Excitement and Mystery – It appears when Vinoth enters Divya’s room. He is so excited to see the luxurious room of Divya. Vinoth, like a kid, rolls over her bed and does all crazy things. Yuvan has gone in for a grand orchestral burst at the start as though some grand palace is being shown and of course in the eyes of Vinoth, this small room is a palace. The strings playing a theme in high tempo punctuating the high speed actions of Vinoth and flute piece playing a pleasant melody adding an innocent flavour conveys everything to our ears exactly in synch with what is conveyed to our eyes. The mystery part comes when suddenly Vinoth starts to behave strangely at midnight. This music cue with serious notes on strings conveys that there is a lot of mystery behind Vinoth. I like how gradually the mystery part played slowly on strings gives way to a solo flute piece that sounds the sympathy and care of Divya towards Vinoth. This kind of seamless transition and blending in synch with the cuts and emotions on the visuals is very important for an effective background score. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20Excitement%20and%20Mystery.wma)

Vinoth a stranger, an alien - The uneasy look of the other students, the mix of feelings like nostalgia, fear and embarrassment of Vinoth are well brought out in the theme played on strings initially. The slow beats in the background sounds the hesitance in every step of Vinoth while entering the classroom and finally it ends with a very unique mandolin sound playing kind of Arabic notes, when Vinoth opens a window of the classroom. I don’t know who decided to go for music in the background for this scene, because it would have worked even without music or with just few chords on strings, but such a complete theme linking every single happening in the visual takes the scene to next higher level. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20a%20stranger%20an%20alien.wma)

Vinoth uncomfortable with urban life – This piece appears when Vinoth feels that he can't tolerate the urban life. The mysterious piano starting, a strange err… sound (quite terrifying) and the fast running strings when Vinoth tries to runaway from the city are all put together nicely to convey how uncomfortable Vinoth is, with the urban life. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20uncomfortable%20with%20urban%20life.wma)

Divya talking to Vinoth – Yuvan gradually raises the pitch of the theme in every next bar on strings to reflect how Vinoth’s excitement level and emotions are rising from inside. It is one of the most emotional pieces of the movie that perfectly adds a waltz-like rhythm to the emotional beats of his heart at that moment. One could have felt that the music is so loud in this scene, and it overlaps with what Divya is speaking to Vinoth. But I think this may be deliberate. When Divya approaches Vinoth, we already know that she has accepted him as a friend and she is going to repeat what Vinoth was talking alone. So it is not the words of Divya that is important in the scene, instead it is the emotions of Vinoth. But when director makes Vinoth dumb and shows just the eyes with the images in his spectacles silently speaking for him, it is the composer who has to add a voice and sound to Vinoth’s emotions. And Yuvan has done it so perfectly in this scene. You can listen to the same cue in one more place in the movie when Vinoth does many magic to bring all the necessary things for Divya to make her feel comfortable in the forest. Now, it is Vinoth’s turn to surprise Divya. This time, the theme is for Divya’s surprise. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Divya%20talking%20to%20Vinoth.wma)

Vinoth and Divya in canteen – This is one of very delicate scenes in the movie where there are no dialogues but just the minds of Vinoth and Divya silently speaking a strange language. The music plays a vital role again here with flute, piano, guitar, mild strings and vocals alternatively performing beautiful melodies matching the cuts in the scene. Every single look and variation in the actions of Vinoth in that scene is perfectly punctuated by switching the beautiful romantic theme on various instruments. The flute and female vocal brings in all sympathetic sound needed. This theme can be termed as the love theme of Vinoth as this is where he first gets acquainted with Divya and also the variations of this theme are used for many other scenes in the movie. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20and%20Divya%20in%20Canteen.wma)

Vinoth in the symposium – This piece starts mildly and hesitantly with the strings reflecting Vinoth who is hesitant to speak in the symposium. Slowly the strings come forward playing the notes more boldly when we come to know that Vinoth is doing well in the symposium leaving all the inhibitions behind. The oboe piece is beautiful in this theme, and gives a sort of a victorious sound and the highpoint is when slowly the strings paves way to the haunting flute piece (the canteen theme) for Vinoth hugging Divya, sharing the moment of pride and joy with her.

Vinoth’s Disappointment – This music appears just before the interval block when Vinoth comes to know that Divya loves Aadi. The piece starts with a sad solo violin version of the love theme (Canteen theme) which slowly moves to a more emotional flute piece with strings providing ample emotional support from behind. Also percussions are added aptly at right places like thunder in the already storming heart. The percussion beats synch with the shots of shutting doors of the shops around Vinoth as though the whole world is again closing down putting him in the same old lonely zone. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20Disappointment.wma)

Vinoth’s Childhood – This piece is what one can call a story told in music. I am just going to list the images crossing my mind when I listen to this music (please note, last time I saw the movie was almost 2 years back). The piece starts with sad strings playing for Vinoth being sent to a factory by his mother. Then follows a sad melody played with vibraphone, the very sound of vibraphone brings in the image of kids and the sad melody suggests that they are being tortured. Then slowly the flute takes over (which could be easily mistaken as an Illayaraja composition), the haunting flute sounds the sweet acquaintance of Vinoth with another girl working in the same place and the following female vocal suggests the longing of kids to live a free life, (as they watch kids playing happily with their parents outside), then suddenly after a brief mysterious piece suggesting that something wrong has happened to that girl, a sad chorus bursts out for her painful death and more than her death it is for how Vinoth has become alone again. Then the sudden transformation to somewhat relaxed mood happens with the sound of the very first note of the flute suggesting the freedom of kids, the percussions that follow are for Kids escaping and the flute theme along with strings playing a very pleasant melody suggesting that the kids are finally free and flying away like butterflies. Do I need to say anything more about this piece? Just experience it for yourself. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20childhood.wma)

Vinoth’s destiny – So much happens in the climax and this music is a summary of it. The musical moment is when Yuvan brings in the canteen theme sung by an innocent female vocal when Vinoth understands that Divya has a soft corner for him and decides to let his life go. The chorus which follows is a mass for Vinoth’s death. It is a perfect closing for the romantic musical thriller (that is what I would call as the genre of Kadhal Konden), the music will make the effect of its ending to linger for a longer time. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20destiny.wma)

Very rarely does such surprise small songs which were not previously released in the soundtrack makes so much impact on very first listening. And the due credit should go to Na.Muthukumar, because in all the four songs, it is not just the music but also the beautiful lines aptly written for the situation, helps to elevate the scene. Like the music, the lyrics also instantly stick to our mind. I feel no music could have registered the dilemma in Vinoth’s mind as convincingly as the words “Unnai Thozhi enbadha, en Paadhi enbadhaa, Unnai Kaadhal Enbadha, En thedal enbadha”. So are the lines for “Natpinilae” song. Adding beauty to the lines is Yuvan’s piano. “Thathi Thathi” is a very peppy tune. I felt the music really added a lot to this long funny scene without which the scene wouldn’t have had the same impact. The instrumental version of this song appears again when Divya falls in love with Aadi. Vidamalae is heavily inspired by Rahman’s Salaam Bombay, but as I said before, what is important is that the music is apt for the scene and hence it works. The heavy rhythms are perfect choice to sound the fire inside Vinoth.

I literally “Kadhal Konden” on Yuvan’s background score for this movie. Hope everybody was,is or will.
[tscii:12316dd927][/tscii:12316dd927]

sundararaj
10th January 2007, 11:19 AM
:clap:

karthik_sa2
18th January 2007, 02:29 AM
:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

P_R
19th January 2007, 11:04 AM
Beautiful series Suresh. Very well selected and equally well written. It feels like a beautiful guided tour that takes me to places I have been to earlier, but not 'seen'. :thumbsup:

sureshmehcnit
20th January 2007, 09:04 PM
Sudaraj, Karthik, Prabhu Ram:-

Thanks for letting us know your opinions.

itsmuls
7th February 2007, 03:16 PM
Suresh, it feels you are the director of the movie and explain the situation, mood, emotions, etc. etc. to the artist to perform accordingly.... interesting....

It may not be right/wrong to say tha Yuvan too had the mood, emotion, etc.. while composing the BGM, but your review feels, he should have !

Keep it Up

sureshmehcnit
8th February 2007, 01:01 AM
It is not easy to come up with such music otherwise... It should have felt, i think Selvaraghavan should have given lot of inputs of Yuvan and ofcourse i have mentioned my doubt on the genuinity on the music.... but i too feel sometimes when you like something very much, you tend to over interpret it in a way even the creator wouldn't have intended....

viraajan
31st October 2007, 05:11 PM
Background scores in Tamil Movies - Kaadhal Konden

- Suresh


http://www.lazygeek.net/images/kadhal01.jpg
After Illayaraja and A.R.Rahman, I have chosen to write on the background score of “Kadhal Konden”. I am not going to write anything generic about Yuvan’s background score abilities like I did for other composers before, because I feel it is too early to arrive at such a summary of opinion on Yuvan’s background scores. I don’t really know if Yuvan’s background score was seriously noticed before Kadhal Konden. I am writing this simply because of the fact that I was able to write this article even without watching “Kadhal Konden” again. I could easily recollect the scenes and the background music pieces. When I listen to the audio, the scenes start to unfold in my mind. Creating such an impact on the audience with the background score is not easy to achieve. Considering the track records of Yuvan’s 'inspirations', I am not sure whether the background score pieces used in this movie are genuine and original compositions of Yuvan but what I think is more important is that they fit with every single frame of the movie to T.

“Kadhal Konden“ is a journey through the life of Vinoth who goes through a weird mix of emotions. It demands such a variety of sound in the background score too. No single theme can bring in all these mixed feelings of a character. Yuvan has gone in for a variety of melodious themes, and it is good that no single theme is based on any of the songs in the movie. And above all, all are catchy. They sound good even as stand alone tracks. But I want to emphasize that music without relevance to the scene and without a demanding visual for the music, mere catchiness in the theme is of no help. But here the pieces are very relevant to the visuals (as I'll explain shortly) and catchy too. Some of them are such that even a layman would hum the background score piece after watching the movie. In his father’s style, Yuvan has gone for a live orchestra with dominant usage of strings section, flute and piano. I think my job is done if I write about all the themes included in the Original soundtrack that was released in Hollywood style much later, after the release of the movie, with additional songs and background score pieces.

Vinoth’s happiness – This theme got released along with the songs - as “Kadhal Konden theme” - even before the release of the movie. I thought Yuvan is going to use the same theme with different orchestration for different emotions in the scenes but fortunately, every single scene or emotion of Vinoth has its own theme and its own development pattern as the movie develops. This theme is such a vibrant and enthusiastic piece with a peppy rhythm and tune, that is perfectly in synch with how Vinoth feels after kidnapping Divya. He dances with so much joy and energy exhibiting his happiness. And I need not mention the usage of this theme in the climax. It is one of the movie’s highlights. It perfectly suits that situation because; even at that moment Vinoth is happy as he thinks that he can kill Aadi and live happily with Divya. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20happiness.wma)

Vinoth’s Excitement and Mystery – It appears when Vinoth enters Divya’s room. He is so excited to see the luxurious room of Divya. Vinoth, like a kid, rolls over her bed and does all crazy things. Yuvan has gone in for a grand orchestral burst at the start as though some grand palace is being shown and of course in the eyes of Vinoth, this small room is a palace. The strings playing a theme in high tempo punctuating the high speed actions of Vinoth and flute piece playing a pleasant melody adding an innocent flavour conveys everything to our ears exactly in synch with what is conveyed to our eyes. The mystery part comes when suddenly Vinoth starts to behave strangely at midnight. This music cue with serious notes on strings conveys that there is a lot of mystery behind Vinoth. I like how gradually the mystery part played slowly on strings gives way to a solo flute piece that sounds the sympathy and care of Divya towards Vinoth. This kind of seamless transition and blending in synch with the cuts and emotions on the visuals is very important for an effective background score. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20Excitement%20and%20Mystery.wma)

Vinoth a stranger, an alien - The uneasy look of the other students, the mix of feelings like nostalgia, fear and embarrassment of Vinoth are well brought out in the theme played on strings initially. The slow beats in the background sounds the hesitance in every step of Vinoth while entering the classroom and finally it ends with a very unique mandolin sound playing kind of Arabic notes, when Vinoth opens a window of the classroom. I don’t know who decided to go for music in the background for this scene, because it would have worked even without music or with just few chords on strings, but such a complete theme linking every single happening in the visual takes the scene to next higher level. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20a%20stranger%20an%20alien.wma)

Vinoth uncomfortable with urban life – This piece appears when Vinoth feels that he can't tolerate the urban life. The mysterious piano starting, a strange err… sound (quite terrifying) and the fast running strings when Vinoth tries to runaway from the city are all put together nicely to convey how uncomfortable Vinoth is, with the urban life. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20uncomfortable%20with%20urban%20life.wma)

Divya talking to Vinoth – Yuvan gradually raises the pitch of the theme in every next bar on strings to reflect how Vinoth’s excitement level and emotions are rising from inside. It is one of the most emotional pieces of the movie that perfectly adds a waltz-like rhythm to the emotional beats of his heart at that moment. One could have felt that the music is so loud in this scene, and it overlaps with what Divya is speaking to Vinoth. But I think this may be deliberate. When Divya approaches Vinoth, we already know that she has accepted him as a friend and she is going to repeat what Vinoth was talking alone. So it is not the words of Divya that is important in the scene, instead it is the emotions of Vinoth. But when director makes Vinoth dumb and shows just the eyes with the images in his spectacles silently speaking for him, it is the composer who has to add a voice and sound to Vinoth’s emotions. And Yuvan has done it so perfectly in this scene. You can listen to the same cue in one more place in the movie when Vinoth does many magic to bring all the necessary things for Divya to make her feel comfortable in the forest. Now, it is Vinoth’s turn to surprise Divya. This time, the theme is for Divya’s surprise. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Divya%20talking%20to%20Vinoth.wma)

Vinoth and Divya in canteen – This is one of very delicate scenes in the movie where there are no dialogues but just the minds of Vinoth and Divya silently speaking a strange language. The music plays a vital role again here with flute, piano, guitar, mild strings and vocals alternatively performing beautiful melodies matching the cuts in the scene. Every single look and variation in the actions of Vinoth in that scene is perfectly punctuated by switching the beautiful romantic theme on various instruments. The flute and female vocal brings in all sympathetic sound needed. This theme can be termed as the love theme of Vinoth as this is where he first gets acquainted with Divya and also the variations of this theme are used for many other scenes in the movie. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20and%20Divya%20in%20Canteen.wma)

Vinoth in the symposium – This piece starts mildly and hesitantly with the strings reflecting Vinoth who is hesitant to speak in the symposium. Slowly the strings come forward playing the notes more boldly when we come to know that Vinoth is doing well in the symposium leaving all the inhibitions behind. The oboe piece is beautiful in this theme, and gives a sort of a victorious sound and the highpoint is when slowly the strings paves way to the haunting flute piece (the canteen theme) for Vinoth hugging Divya, sharing the moment of pride and joy with her.

Vinoth’s Disappointment – This music appears just before the interval block when Vinoth comes to know that Divya loves Aadi. The piece starts with a sad solo violin version of the love theme (Canteen theme) which slowly moves to a more emotional flute piece with strings providing ample emotional support from behind. Also percussions are added aptly at right places like thunder in the already storming heart. The percussion beats synch with the shots of shutting doors of the shops around Vinoth as though the whole world is again closing down putting him in the same old lonely zone. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoth%20Disappointment.wma)

Vinoth’s Childhood – This piece is what one can call a story told in music. I am just going to list the images crossing my mind when I listen to this music (please note, last time I saw the movie was almost 2 years back). The piece starts with sad strings playing for Vinoth being sent to a factory by his mother. Then follows a sad melody played with vibraphone, the very sound of vibraphone brings in the image of kids and the sad melody suggests that they are being tortured. Then slowly the flute takes over (which could be easily mistaken as an Illayaraja composition), the haunting flute sounds the sweet acquaintance of Vinoth with another girl working in the same place and the following female vocal suggests the longing of kids to live a free life, (as they watch kids playing happily with their parents outside), then suddenly after a brief mysterious piece suggesting that something wrong has happened to that girl, a sad chorus bursts out for her painful death and more than her death it is for how Vinoth has become alone again. Then the sudden transformation to somewhat relaxed mood happens with the sound of the very first note of the flute suggesting the freedom of kids, the percussions that follow are for Kids escaping and the flute theme along with strings playing a very pleasant melody suggesting that the kids are finally free and flying away like butterflies. Do I need to say anything more about this piece? Just experience it for yourself. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20childhood.wma)

Vinoth’s destiny – So much happens in the climax and this music is a summary of it. The musical moment is when Yuvan brings in the canteen theme sung by an innocent female vocal when Vinoth understands that Divya has a soft corner for him and decides to let his life go. The chorus which follows is a mass for Vinoth’s death. It is a perfect closing for the romantic musical thriller (that is what I would call as the genre of Kadhal Konden), the music will make the effect of its ending to linger for a longer time. Listen (http://tfmmagazine.mayyam.com/jan07/kk-bgms/Vinoths%20destiny.wma)

Very rarely does such surprise small songs which were not previously released in the soundtrack makes so much impact on very first listening. And the due credit should go to Na.Muthukumar, because in all the four songs, it is not just the music but also the beautiful lines aptly written for the situation, helps to elevate the scene. Like the music, the lyrics also instantly stick to our mind. I feel no music could have registered the dilemma in Vinoth’s mind as convincingly as the words “Unnai Thozhi enbadha, en Paadhi enbadhaa, Unnai Kaadhal Enbadha, En thedal enbadha”. So are the lines for “Natpinilae” song. Adding beauty to the lines is Yuvan’s piano. “Thathi Thathi” is a very peppy tune. I felt the music really added a lot to this long funny scene without which the scene wouldn’t have had the same impact. The instrumental version of this song appears again when Divya falls in love with Aadi. Vidamalae is heavily inspired by Rahman’s Salaam Bombay, but as I said before, what is important is that the music is apt for the scene and hence it works. The heavy rhythms are perfect choice to sound the fire inside Vinoth.

I literally “Kadhal Konden” on Yuvan’s background score for this movie. Hope everybody was,is or will.
[tscii:521d3270ed][/tscii:521d3270ed]

Suresh,

Are you aware of the fact that most of the BGM in this movie have been blatantly copied from various sources. I heard it from a reliable source with the names of the original tracks!!!